Appearing in "A Life for a Life!"
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Synopsis for "A Life for a Life!"
The villain known as Killer Shrike the First Bank and Savings Association of the Bronx. The guards try to stop him, but they are no match for his enhanced powers. Although he succeeds in his task, as he flies away, Shrike wants to get in on a big stake heist. Something like when he was a special agent for the Brand Corporation prior to getting shut down.[Continuity 1] Ducking into a nearby alley, Shrike changes into his street clothes and heads home. He thinks about how none of the other criminal organizations have reached out to him due to the fact that he always attracts the attention of superheroes. Returning to the apartment he calls home, he happens upon his neighbor Donnie Gardner as his girlfriend dumps him for being too negative all the time.
Meanwhile, in Edgewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Peter Parker is saying goodbye to his friends Harry and Liz Osborn after a visit. When he boards the bus back to New York, he takes a seat next to Donna Gardner. Noticing that she is reading a magazine article with one of his pictures of Spider-Man, the pair strike up conversation. Learning that Peter is a photographer, Donna tells him that she always aspired to be a model. She is moving back to New York from New Jersey to be with her twin brother Donnie and give it a shot as a model. The pair exchange plesant conversation until their bus arrives in New York. There they are about to part company, when Donna is struck by a hit-and-run driver. Overhearing that an ambulance has been called, Peter Parker ducks away to change into Spider-Man so he can chase after the driver. The wall-crawler easily spots the erratically driving car and leaps onto the roof. The driver begins to panic and tries to shake the hero off, putting more pedestrians in danger. Furious, Spider-Man rips the roof off the car and orders the man to pull over. Once he has done so, Spider-Man lifts him out of the car and realizes that the driver is drunk. Spider-Man is angry enough to hit the drunk driver, but he stops himself as he can't handle this type of crime like he does with super-criminals. Instead, he leaves the drunk driver webbed up in his car and catches up with the ambulance taking Donna to the hospital to see if there is anything he can do to help. At the hospital, Spider-Man changes back into Peter Parker where he waits to hear on Donna's condition. When a doctor comes out to talk to him, he learns that her kidneys were badly damaged and she needs a transplant, and are trying to locate a family member that might be compatable. Peter recalls that Donna has a twin brother, an ideal candidate for organ donation. Without an address for Donna's brother, Peter slips away to change into Spider-Man to try and find him, starting with Donna's address.
Meanwhile, at the Bronx apartment complex, Simon Maddicks has become incredibly jumpy after his bank heist. Looking out the peep hole to his apartment, he only sees Donnie Gardner returning to his apartment. Inside, Donnie catches his roommate Fred just as he is heading out. Fred reminds him that the bill for their phone bill is due and he's behind on his half of the rent. Donnie tells him that he will pay Fred back soon, but Fred wants to know when. He empathizes with Donnie after he lost his job, but points out that it was two months ago and he hasn't started looking for a job. Fred tells him that he can't keep supporting the both of them and if Donnie can't pull his weight, he will have to start looking for a new roommate. Left alone in his apartment, Donnie sits on the couch and dwells on his misfortuntes. At that moment, Spider-Man forces his way into Donna's apartment. There he finds an address book with Donnie's phone number. When he calls, Donnie answers, but doesn't say anything. When Spider-Man asks if anyone is there, Donnie angrilly rips the phone off the wall, cutting the connection. With Donnie's address in hand, Spider-Man heads off in the hopes he can find him there.
Back at the hospital, Donna's prognosis is getting worse, and her hopes for survival are diminishing the longer it takes her twin brother to come for the needed organ transplant. As Spider-Man reaches Donnie's apartment complex, his approach is observed by Simon Maddicks. Thinking Spider-Man is after him, Maddicks begins changing into Killer Shrike to confront the hero. As Spider-Man climbs up the wall of the building, he is suddenly ambushed by Killer Shrike who accuses Spider-Man of coming after him. Spider-Man curses Shrike for attacking him during a life or death situation. While up in his apartment, Donnie decides that nothing in his life will go right and decides to give up. He sits down at a desk and begins writing a suicide note. As Spider-Man deals with Killer Shrike, Donnie climbs up onto the roof of his apartment complex, intending to jump to his death. Although Killer Shrike has the advantage against Spider-Man due to his ability of flight, the wall-crawler eventually manages to land a knock out blow. With the fight over, he rushes back to the apartment complex where he finds Donnie's suicide note. Hoping it's not to late, the web-slinger goes up to the roof and finds Donnie standing at the edge of the building.
He tells Donnie to reconsider, and after hearing Donnie's problems tries to relate to him by explaining his own personal losses.[Continuity 2] He then convinces Donnie to come down from the ledge by telling him that his sister needs him. Hearing about Donna's condition, he asks to be taken to his sister. Spider-Man rushes Donnie to the hospital, where his organ donation saves his sisters life. As Peter Parker, the wall-crawler learns that Donna will pull through. He hopes that after saving his sister's life Donnie can get past his depression and learn the real value of his own life.
- ↑ The Brand Corporation, a Roxxon subsidiary, was shut down following the events of Amazing Spider-Man #236. A new version of the organization, unaffiliated with Roxxon, opened in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #26.
- ↑ Spider-Man vaguely refers to his own failures and the loss of a loved one. He is referring to the deaths of his Uncle Ben and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy, in Amazing Fantasy #15 and Amazing Spider-Man #121 respectively.
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